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Malaysia’s trade up 11% in February, exports expand 10%
Published on: Monday, March 20, 2023
By: Bernama
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Malaysia’s trade up 11% in February, exports expand 10%
Malaysia’s February export growth was fuelled by strong exports of petroleum products, electrical and electronic products, and liquefied natural gas. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s February trade data remained on an upward trajectory with double-digit year-on-year growth of 11% to RM204.99 billion.

Exports expanded 9.8% to RM112.28 billion while imports for the month rose 12.4% to RM92.71 billion.

A trade surplus has been recorded for 34 consecutive months since May 2020, valued at RM19.56 billion.

“Trade, exports, and imports registered the highest monthly value for February. The export growth was supported by strong exports of petroleum products, electrical and electronic (E&E) products as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG),” the international trade and industry ministry (Miti) said in a statement today.

It said exports to major trading partners, notably Asean and the US, recorded double-digit growth.

Miti said that compared to January this year, the trade surplus grew by 7.9%, while trade, exports, and imports slipped by 1.1%, 0.3%, and 1.9%, respectively, due to shorter working days.

From January to February, trade rose by 6.1% to RM412.17 billion compared to the same period in 2022. Exports expanded by 5.4% to RM224.93 billion and imports climbed by 7% to RM187.24 billion.

The trade surplus edged down marginally by 1.8% to RM37.69 billion. Trade, exports and imports registered the highest value for the period, it said.

Major exports

Among the major exports, E&E products were valued at RM44.27 billion and accounted for 39.4% of total exports, which increased by 11.7% from February 2022.

Petroleum products were worth RM12.26 billion and made up 10.9% of total exports, a surge of 67.5%; chemicals and chemical products (RM6.16 billion, 5.5% of total exports, decreased by 7.2%); LNG (RM5.42 billion, 4.8% of total exports, increased by 32.9%); and palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products (RM5.38 billion, 4.8% of total exports, decreased by 13.8%).

On a month-on-month basis, exports of manufactured and agricultural goods improved by 0.6% and 2.1%, respectively, while exports of mining goods fell by 10.1%.

Asean takes lead

In February, trade with Asean comprised 27.4% of Malaysia’s total trade, rising by 10% y-o-y to RM56.14 billion.

Exports grew by 14.8% to RM33.69 billion, the 19th straight month of double-digit expansion, underpinned by higher exports of petroleum products and E&E products.

Imports from Asean expanded by 3.5% to RM22.45 billion.

Exports to all Asean markets recorded growth except Vietnam. Exports to major markets that recorded increases were Singapore, which grew by RM4.01 billion, on account of robust exports of E&E products, Thailand (RM308.5 million, crude petroleum), and Indonesia (RM450.7 million, E&E products).

Compared to January, trade and imports expanded by 1.6% and 6.1%, respectively while exports dropped by 1.2%, said Miti.

For the period of January to February, trade with Asean climbed by 7.8% to RM111.4 billion compared to the same period in 2022. Exports to this region increased by 12.7% to RM67.79 billion, driven by strong exports of petroleum products, E&E products, and crude petroleum.

Imports from Asean edged up by 0.8% to RM43.61 billion.

Import performance

Total imports in February grew by 12.4% year-on-year to RM92.71 billion.

The three main categories of imports by end-use, which accounted for 68.9% of total imports, were intermediate goods, valued at RM48.98 billion, or 52.8% of total imports, an increase of 3.3% y-o-y, following higher imports of primary fuel and lubricants.

Capital goods, valued at RM7.89 billion or 8.5% of total imports, declined by 0.3%, due to lower imports of non-transport capital goods.

Consumption goods, valued at RM7.06 billion, or 7.6% of total imports, grew by 1.2%, as a result of higher imports of primary food and beverages mainly for household consumption.

During the period of January to February, imports of intermediate goods contracted by 0.5% to RM97.42 billion compared to the same period last year, capital goods (-1.2% to RM17.57 billion) and consumption goods (-2.1% to RM15.3 billion).

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